“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”- Luke 10:27
Loving our neighbor as ourself is not a feeling, but an action–and this action is not just about sharing the Gospel, but also about doing whatever it takes to help our neighbor in their time of need and desperation.
Right now, there are 700,000 plus young Immigrants with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in fear of losing careers, home ownership, family, and protection from deportation in the United States. The DACA program was put in place by the Obama administration in 2012 after negotiations with Congress to create a pathway to citizenship faltered.
On Tuesday, The Supreme Court discussed the DACA program in a packed courtroom for an extended 80-minutes. The Supreme Court’s ruling likely won’t be handed down until next spring, when the 2020 presidential election campaign is in full swing. Even if the court allows the program to be rescinded, most DACA recipients will retain the two-year protection.
What’s important to understand is that 700,000 plus Immigrants with DACA came as young babies or children without any choice in the matter and by no fault of their own. They are not criminals or bad people. In fact, in order for them to even qualify for DACA, they cannot commit a crime.
Because these immigrants were brought to the U.S. by no fault of their own, then the best way forward is to give them a path toward citizenship. This is will require Congress to fix the DACA program, which is essentially a temporary band-aid on a deep wound and will not work in the longterm. Congress must step up, fix DACA, and create a pathway to citizenship for these young Immigrants. Congress must seek to protect, not deport them.
In the meantime, Immigrants with DACA are stuck in limbo on where the program will end up. For those of us who are Christians, we have an obligation to love young Immigrants with DACA as our neighbor. And again, this is not a feeling, but an action.
Here are four ways we should love Immigrants with DACA right now.
1. Call your representatives. In the midst of the need and desperation of Immigrants with DACA, please call your member of Congress urging them to protect Immigrants by supporting a bipartisan solution on DACA that respects the rule of law, but also supports Immigrants staying in the U.S. and gives them a pathway to citizenship. Get in contact with your representatives and call them here.
2. Pray. Prayer is communication with the one true God of the universe who created us in His Image. Prayer is talking to our father in Heaven who cares deeply about fears and concerns. Seek the Lord in prayer persistently like the widow in Luke 18:1-8, asking Him to protect Immigrants and fix DACA, giving them a pathway to citizenship. Pray God gives them comfort and peace in the midst of uncertainty.
3. Speak up. For those of us who are Christians, silence, when our neighbor is in need, cannot be an option. We must speak up on behalf of Immigrants with DACA on social media, with friends and family, and to our representatives. To be silent is to be okay with Immigrants living in limbo and overcome with fear.
4. Serve. Google “Immigration organizations near me” and go serve with an organization. Find a place where Immigrants with DACA might need assistance, help, or a friend to listen to them. Find ways to get in proximity.